AFCON: DR Congo got chance of qualifying for the last 16 after a victory over Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe 0-4 DR Congo

DR Congo gave themselves a chance of qualifying for the last 16 of the Africa Cup of Nations with a 4-0 win over Zimbabwe.

Congo lost their first two games in Egypt but Jonathan Bolingi and Cedric Bakambu struck in the first half.

Bakambu added a penalty before substitute Britt Assombalonga improved Congo’s goal difference late on.

That saw them finish above Zimbabwe and they must wait to see if they are one of four third-placed teams to qualify.

Zimbabwe had to make a late change to their starting line-up when goalkeeper George Chigova was injured in the warm-up. His replacement was Elvis Chipezeze, their third-choice keeper, because Edmore Sibanda is also injured.

The 29-year-old only made his international debut on 5 June, with this his fourth cap, and in just the fourth minute he pushed a tame free-kick by Birmingham midfielder Jacques Maghoma on to the crossbar and Bolingi followed up to head in the rebound.

Right-back Issama Mpeko then released Bakambu and the Beijing Guoan midfielder, who moved to China last year for an African record fee, produced a composed finish to double Congo’s lead.

Zimbabwe almost pulled a goal back just before the hour mark as captain Knowledge Musona steered a low cross back towards goal and Congo keeper Ley Matampi made a fine reflex save to stop substitute Nyasha Mushekwi’s back-heel creeping into the bottom corner.

But Chipezeze then gave away a penalty as he brought down Bakambu, who sidefooted the spot-kick into the bottom corner for his 10th international goal, before Middlesbrough striker Assombalonga opened his Congo account, tapping in the rebound after Chipezeze spilled an Elia Meschak shot.

Highlights:

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.